Trending February 2024 # Google Bert Vs Smith: How They Work & Work Together # Suggested March 2024 # Top 3 Popular

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Last month here on Search Engine Journal, author Roger Montti covered the Google research paper on a new Natural Language Processing algorithm named SMITH.

The conclusion? That SMITH outperforms BERT for long documents.

Before we dive in, as of right now, SMITH is not live in Google’s algorithms. If my Spidey senses are right though, it’ll be rolling out with passage indexing, or preceding it.

Regular readers will know I have an interest in Machine Learning as it relates to search, and so I had to dive into the research paper for myself.

I also had to revisit some of the BERT docs to really wrap my brain about what was going on.

Is BERT about to be replaced?

Aren’t most documents on the web that aren’t thin content therefore long, and thus better for SMITH?

I’m going to take you to the conclusion first.

SMITH can do both jobs, and a bazooka can open a door. But you are still better off bringing your key, in many cases.

Why BERT or SMITH to Begin With?

What we’re really asking with this question is why a search engine would want to use Natural Language Processing (NLP).

The answer is quite simple; NLP assists in the transition from search engines understanding strings (keywords) to things (entities).

Where Google once had no idea what else should be on a page other than the keywords, or whether the content even made sense, with NLP it learned to better understand the context of the words.

The tone.

That “bank account” and “riverbank” are referring to different banks.

That the sentence, “Dave met up with Danny for a beer, beers, pint, glass, drink, ale, brew…” is not natural.

As an SEO professional, I miss the old days.

As someone who needs to find things on the internet, I do not.

Enter BERT

BERT is the best current NLP model we have for many, if not most, applications including understanding complex language structures.

The biggest leap forward with BERT in my opinion was in the first character, Bidirectional.

Rather than simply “reading” from left-to-right, it could also understand context going the other way around.

An overly simplified example might be in understanding the following sentence:

A car has lights.

If you can understand only left to right, when you hit the word “lights” you would classify the car as something that has lights because you have encountered the word car prior to it and could make the association.

But, if you were wanting to classify things on cars, lights may be missed because they had not been encountered prior to “car.”

It’s hard to learn in one direction only.

Additionally, the “under the hood” of BERT is remarkable and allows for processing language effectively with lower resource costs than previous models – an important consideration when one wants to apply it to the entire web.

One additional leap forward with BERT was its application of tokens.

In BERT, there are 30,000 tokens and each represents a common word with some leftover for fragments and characters in case a word is outside the 30,000.

Through the token processing and transformers, the way BERT was able to understand content gave it the ability I alluded to above, to understand that in the sentence:

“The man went to the bank. He then sat on the river bank.”

The first and last instances of “bank” should be assigned different values as they are referring to different things.

What About SMITH?

So now SMITH swaggers in, with better numbers and resource use in processing large documents.

BERT taps out at 512 tokens per document. After that, the computing cost gets too high for it to be functional, and often just isn’t.

SMITH, on the other hand, can handle 2,248 tokens. The documents can be 8x larger.

To understand why computing costs go up in a single NLP model, we simply need to consider what it takes to understand a sentence vs. a paragraph.

With a sentence, there is generally only one core concept to understand, and relatively few words meaning few connections between words and ideas to hold in memory.

Make that sentence a paragraph and the connections multiply exponentially.

Processing 8x the text actually requires many more times that in speed and memory optimization capacity using the same model.

SMITH gets around this by basically batching, and doing a lot of the processing offline.

But interestingly, for SMITH to function, it still leans heavily on BERT.

At its core, SMITH takes a document through the following process:

It breaks the document into grouping sizes it can handle, favoring sentences (i.e., if the document would allocate 4.5 sentences to a block based on length, it would truncate that to four).

It then processes each sentence block individually.

A transformer then learns the contextual representations of each block and turns them into a document representation.

The diagram of the process looks like:

You can see a similarity between the bottom four rows, and the BERT process above. After that, we move to sentence-level representations and transforming that to a document level.

A Bit of Side Tech

Interestingly, to train the SMITH model, we take from BERT in two ways:

1. To train BERT they would take a word out of a sentence and supply options.

The better trained BERT was the more successful in choosing the right option. For example, they might give it the sentence:

Options 2 – fox

The better trained, the more likely it is to pick Option 2.

This training method continues with SMITH, as well.

2. Because they’re training for large documents, they also take passages and remove sentences.

The more likely the system is at recognizing the omitted sentence, the better trained.

Same idea, different application.

I find this part interesting as an SEO pro, as it paints a world with Google generated content pieced together into walled-in SERPs. Sure, the user can leave, but why would they if Google can piece together short and long-form content from all the best sources in one place?

Think that won’t happen? It’s already starting and it looks like:

Though they’re still doing it poorly, as evidenced by this example from the Ryerson site:

This next stage will just make it less blatant they’re just ripping off content.

Sounds Like SMITH Is Better…

It sure sounds like SMITH is better, doesn’t it?

And at many tasks, it will be.

But think of how you use the internet.

“What’s the weather?”

“Play a song.”

“Directions to a restaurant.”

Many queries are satisfied not just with short answers, but with limited and often uncomplicated data.

Where SMITH gets involved is in understanding long and complex documents, and long and complex queries.

This will include the piecing together of documents and topics to create their own answers.

This will include determining how content can be broken apart (dare I say… into passages) so Google knows what to surface.

It will help each one to better understand how pages of content are related to each other, how links may be valued, and more.

So, each serves a purpose.

SMITH is the bazooka. It will paint the understanding of how things are. It is more costly in resources because it’s doing a bigger job, but is far less costly than BERT at doing that job.

BERT will help SMITH do that, and assist in understanding short queries and content chunks.

That is, until both are replaced, at which time we’ll move another leap forward and I’m going to bet that the next algorithm will be:

Bidirected Object-agnostic Regresson-based transformer Gateways.

The Star Trek nerds like me in the crowd will get it. 😉

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, January 2023

You're reading Google Bert Vs Smith: How They Work & Work Together

What Are Smart Washers And How Do They Work?

Without a doubt, everything is become “smarter” now. By adding sensors and Internet connection to a device, it suddenly becomes a “smart device.” Smart washers are among the new class of smart devices that link to your mobile device to have data transmitted about the washer’s operation in real time.

What Is a Smart Washer?

A smart washer is a laundry appliance that adds features with connected appliances through the Internet or a smart home network.

Smart washers operate differently from the usual digital appliances, as they send you notifications to your phone for several purposes. These include alerting you whenever a load is finished and needs to be transferred to the dryer, using smart tumble features, diagnosing issues, and using your voice or phone controls to adjust settings.

Most of the latest washers at your local store will have the usual features such as full-color touchscreens for customizing your wash cycle, but few have the option to add more capabilities by connecting to your Wi-Fi network.

If you struggle with leaving your clothes in the washer long after the cycle completes, you’re probably preoccupied with other things or just tend to forget – a smart washer helps with that.

It keeps your clothes in good form so they don’t take on mildew or get wrinkled, so you don’t have to redo the laundry to get rid of the smell or iron every last garment to remove the wrinkles that come with leaving it in your dryer too long after it’s done.

How Do You Use a Smart Washing Machine?

A smart washer gives you more control alongside convenient extras and notifies you when your laundry load is done.

When you give a command from your smartphone or with your voice, the washer will lightly tumble your clothes every couple of minutes for air to flow through until it detects you’ve come back via the Wi-Fi link in your home.

Many washers and dryers allow you to delay cycles, but smart washers go further and let you even choose the most convenient time you’d like your laundry done.  This will help you multitask more efficiently, especially if you need to do some other urgent things before you fold the clean laundry.

Some smart washers have features that allow you to key in details about the clothes you’re washing – for example: the colors, fabrics, stain details and more. This way, the washer is able to recommend the best cycle for your laundry load.

Another feature available with some smart washers is the monitoring of any problems with the machine and recommending maintenance steps you can take at that time.

Some smart washer manufacturers combine both washer and dryer into the same machine to both wash and dry your laundry. Although an all-in-one smart laundry unit fits snug in a smaller space, it can be expensive, sometimes as costly as buying a washer and dryer separately.

Do You Need a Smart Washer?

Do you really need to put more money down just to get a few added features from a smart washer?

Depending on your lifestyle and budget, a smart washer can be a necessity or a luxury altogether, so it’s a matter of personal preference.

Price and repairs are the most common concerns people usually have about smart washers. Depending on the brand and model, the price of a smart washer can be within the range of $800 to $2000 or more.

Repairs of smart devices also aren’t significantly more expensive than the regular traditional washer, at least not until you have to deal with the extra sensors, which raises the total cost of repairs. They also need frequent updates and are vulnerable to network security vulnerabilities.

Thankfully, smart washers and other smart appliances have self-diagnostic features that can alert or notify you about parts that will soon need replacement or repair and recommendations on what to do. This is likely to save you some money in the short and long term.

Smart washers come with a level of convenience over the traditional setup, but most people would be scared off by the price difference alone, along with potential risks and costs of repairs. If you are not interested in smart washers, there are several other robots that are more than a vacuum cleaner.

Elsie Biage

My passion has always been to share every bit of useful information I find on tech, with the ultimate goal of helping people solve a problem.

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What Are Surety Bonds, And How Do They Work?

For small business owners, surety bonds are a useful tool. They’re a legally enforceable guarantee that allow one party to recoup payment if another party doesn’t fulfill an obligation. Surety bonds have varied applications in the marketplace, like contractors making bids or license requirements. Here’s a look at the most common surety bond types applicable to small business owners, along with how they work and how to tell if you need one.

What are surety bonds?

Surety bonds are legally enforceable three-party written agreements that guarantee compliance, payment or performance. 

There are many surety bond types, but for small businesses, generally, a neutral third party (the surety), acting as the bond’s issuer, guarantees that one party (the principal) will perform the terms of the contract for the other party (the obligee). 

If the principal doesn’t fulfill the obligation, the obligee can file a claim. If the claim is deemed valid, the surety will pay damages, and then the principal will repay the surety. 

A surety bond’s three parties

Here are the three main parties involved in a surety bond:

Principal. Purchases the bond that guarantees they’ll fulfill an obligation for compliance, payment or performance.   

Obligee. The party that requires the principal to buy the surety bond to guarantee the obligation’s fulfillment. The obligee can be the principal’s client or customer; a court; or a local, state or federal government organization.

Surety. The insurance company or surety company acts as a neutral third party in the transaction. The surety guarantees that the principal will perform the obligation and sends a bond certificate to the obligee. If the principal fails to deliver and the obligee files a claim that is deemed valid, the surety company will pay out the claim to the obligee. 

Surety bonds and how they work

Surety bonds help small businesses win contracts by providing the customer with a guarantee that the business will complete the work, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Many public and private contracts require surety bonds, and the SBA guarantees surety bonds for certain surety companies. This allows those companies to offer surety bonds to small businesses that might not otherwise meet the criteria to get a surety.

Aside from strict financial guarantees, some surety bonds are used with contractor agreements, providing guarantees on compliance with permit requirements and licensing on the local, state or federal level. 

Other contract surety bonds required by many project owners and government agencies guarantee that a project or service will be completed as per the agreement’s stipulations and with all required payments made to subcontractors or suppliers.

The SBA guarantees contract bonds but not commercial bonds. The agency explains: “Contract bonds ensure the terms of a specific contract are fulfilled. Commercial bonds ensure all applicable laws and regulations are followed. Government agencies require certain companies or individuals to obtain commercial bonds, which protect the general public against things like fraud.”

FYI

Besides surety bonds, contractors should ensure they have the right contractor insurance policies to protect them.

Major types of surety bonds

Just like there are different types of insurance policies, there are also various types of surety bonds. According to the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), these are the most common surety bond types:  

Bid bonds. These bonds guarantee that a contractor has submitted a bid in good faith, will honor the bid’s terms, and will provide the required performance. Bid bonds are usually 5%, 10% or 20% of the amount bid. Bid bonds are a way to prevent contractors from submitting low bids to get a job and then raising their prices.

Performance bonds. Performance bonds protect a business owner from financial loss if the contractor fails to perform the contract in accordance with its terms and conditions, including its specifications and plans.

Payment bonds. A payment surety bond guarantee assures that the contractor will pay specified subcontractors, laborers and material suppliers associated with the project.

Other surety bonds

These are some other surety bonds used in small business projects and operations:

License bonds (permit bonds). Local and state governments often require license bonds when a contractor or business offers a service to the public. This type of bond guarantees the business owner will conduct their business in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. License bond costs are typically 1% of the total bond amount. 

Construction bonds. A construction bond, or contractor license bond, is a type of license bond required to start a construction project. It provides assurance that the contractor will perform in accordance with the construction agreement.

Completion bonds. These offer assurance that a contractor will complete a project on time, within budget and free of liens. Otherwise, a claim can be filed to compensate the obligee.

Payment bonds. Payment bonds guarantee that the principal will pay for all associated work in connection with the contract, including subcontractors and all required materials and supplies.

Ancillary bonds. Ancillary bonds guarantee that the principal stands by its work and will provide maintenance or corrections in a timely manner.

Did You Know?

Insurance companies often write surety bonds, but surety bonds don’t perform like policies you’d get from the best liability insurance providers, where an aggrieved party files a claim. After a principal buys a bond, the insurance company doesn’t assume the risk. The principal still holds all the risk and has to repay the surety if the company pays out a claim related to the principal not delivering upon the agreement.

Who needs a surety bond?

Various small business types will deal with surety bonds. Some surety bonds fulfill a professional license (under commercial surety bonds), and some enforce construction terms (under contract surety bonds). 

In general, any business that works under a contractual agreement with another party, or provides a public service, could be required by the obligee to obtain a surety bond. 

According to providers, common surety bonds (commercial surety bonds) used within professional industries to meet certain obligations, such as obtaining licenses (other than construction as discussed earlier in this article) include the following:

Auto dealer license surety bonds

Real estate broker surety bonds

Credit repair service surety bonds

Mortgage broker and loan originator license surety bonds

Public insurance adjuster license surety bonds

How long does it take to get a surety bond?

The time it takes to get a surety bond depends on the entity providing the bond. However, applicants that use online providers with quick quotes and streamlined applications can apply and get approved on the same day if they have their documents ready. They can receive the surety bond as soon as the next day. 

Tip

When applying for a surety bond, be sure you know what bond the obligee is requiring, as well as the name of the business, the number of years in business, and the names and addresses of the parties in the agreement. Also make sure you have your Social Security number on hand.

How long does a surety bond remain valid?

A surety bond’s validity period depends on the specific bond needed. Many surety bonds have a set term period with an expiration date, which can be renewed for another term with a reevaluation of the principal and credit risk. This is common for surety bonds needed for professional licenses or permits. 

Typically the set time period ranges from one- to two-year terms for these types of bonds, and the premium could increase or decrease upon reevaluation of the principal. 

With contract bonds, the principal must renew the bond until the obligee releases them, usually at the job’s satisfactory completion. Upon renewal, there’s generally no reevaluation of the principal. During renewal, the principal must pay the premium, or the account could end up in a collections department. After the bond is renewed, it’s active for 12 months.

How much do surety bonds cost?

Although prices may vary, the surety bond’s premium is usually a percentage of the bond’s coverage amount. Once underwriters review your application, they’ll assign it a risk category with an associated premium amount. 

Surety Bonds Direct says its final premium amount is determined by several factors:

The coverage amount required by the bond

The type of surety bond

The applicant’s credit score

The applicant’s financial history

Several bond providers note that quoted contract bond rates usually reflect the bond’s size and the contractor’s financial stability, experience and reputation. Typically, contract bonds cost between 1% and 3% of the contracted amount or, for larger bonds, are tiered based on the size of the bond.

Surety Bonds Direct estimates that commercial license and permit bonds have a statutory amount (coverage) that usually ranges from $5,000 to $100,000. According to the bond provider, contract surety bonds typically range from about $50,000 to several million dollars based on the size of the construction project to be bonded. The states with the most surety bond requirements are California, Florida and Texas.

Finding a surety provider

To help you find a surety provider, the NASBP offers the online Surety Pro Locator, where you select your state or country to find bond producers near you.

Also, the SBA guarantees contract surety bonds for private surety companies. To learn more and find out if your small business qualifies (up to $6.5 million for non-federal contracts and up to $10 million for federal contracts), visit the SBA surety bonds page, where you can also find authorized agents. 

When searching for a surety bond provider, consider the financial health of the company providing your bond before making a purchase. AM Best Rating Services is a great place to find surety bond ratings. Bonds with an A++ or A+ have superior financial health and the ability to meet their obligations. 

Google Keep Vs. Onenote Vs. Evernote: We Name The Note

Google shook things up last week when it dusted off its old Notebook service and relaunched it as Keep. Google’s new software muscles in on the space currently dominated by Microsoft OneNote and Evernote, two note-taking apps that save your text, Web links, photos, audio recordings, and more, helping to keep your life organized.

Whether you’re about to start using a note-taking app or are considering defecting from your current choice, you must first think about the features you need most. One app may excel at OCR support and another might be best for anywhere access, while a third may be ideal for content sharing within a team. To help you make an informed decision, here’s a closer look at how Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, and Evernote stack up in a variety of categories.

Pricing

Keep on Android

Google Keep is available online and via an Android app. Both iterations are free. OneNote and Evernote have Web and app elements that you can use for free, plus paid premium editions.

OneNote is available as part of a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, starting at $100 per year per home user. It also comes bundled within Office desktop suites starting at $140. As a stand-alone product, OneNote 2013 costs $70. You can use OneNote for free as a Web app through Microsoft SkyDrive, and on Windows Phone, Android, or iOS. The Office version provides additional features, such as the ability to clip screenshots or “print” documents directly to OneNote.

Evernote is free for up to 60MB per month of data. The data cap of the Premium upgrade ($5 per month or $45 per year) jumps to 1GB of bandwidth each month. You also get faster performance, better security, and deeper search capabilities. Evernote for Business gives IT admins oversight and control, with additional collaboration options, for $120 per user per year.

Winner: All three note-taking platforms have free options, so we can’t ding any of the contenders for being overpriced. That said, Evernote’s paid versions offer greater functionality through apps and add-ons.

Platforms and ecosystems

Evernote notes on Windows 8

We’ve heard no official confirmation, but it’s reasonable to expect Google to develop iOS and Windows Phone versions of the Keep app eventually. For now, Keep is best for Google-centric users of Google Drive online storage and productivity tools.

Evernote matches Google Keep and OneNote with Web access, and also provides native apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, in addition to dedicated client software for Windows and Mac OS X. Evernote has developed an extensive community and provides a variety of its own apps as well as third-party apps on its Trunk website.

Organization

Content in OneNote, shown in a browser, resides on SkyDrive.

Within a browser, Google Keep lets you view notes as either a list or a grid resembling tidy sticky notes. You can assign colors to notes, but you can’t order or group notes.

OneNote and Evernote, on the other hand, each use a notebook-and-notes metaphor. You can create a notebook for a dedicated topic—such as Website Project, Summer Vacation, or Income Taxes—and then create multiple related notes within it.

OneNote and Evernote also let you tag notes with keywords. You can create separate notebooks in OneNote. Each notebook can contain multiple sections, and each section can have multiple pages and color coding. The desktop version of OneNote also allows you to create a Section Group, the equivalent of embedding a notebook in a notebook. Evernote has a feature similar to the OneNote Section Group, which permits you to group notebooks into Stacks. Evernote Business users can stack professional content within a Business Library.

Winner: Evernote provides more controls for organizing your information.

Rich Media

Evernote on an iPhone

Note-taking apps are most powerful when you use them for more than text. Google Keep on the Web lets you add only an image from your PC, while its Android app allows you to capture a picture or an audio clip. Keep transcribes the audio to text, embedding both inside your note.

Features vary according to the hardware and software you have on hand. For example, you can annotate OneNote notes using a digital stylus in either the OneNote desktop version or the OneNote MX app for Windows 8, but only if you have a touchscreen device and a digital stylus to work with.

Winner: Evernote’s ecosystem of apps expands its rich-media possibilities.

Text editing

Michelle Mastin OneNote lets you annotate documents and images, as does Evernote.

Although a note-taking tool isn’t meant to replace your word processor, it should make your text look better than a jumble of misaligned characters. After all, you’re trying to get organized.

OneNote on iOS is similar but lacks numbered lists, although the OneNote app for Windows Phone enables numbered lists and text formatting. The Web and Office versions of OneNote both provide more-comprehensive text editing, while the OneNote MX app for Windows 8 uses an innovative radial menu for formatting.

With only color coding for organization, Keep in a browser resembles a Pinterest-style jumble of content.

If you insert a checkbox on Evernote’s Android or iOS app, Evernote automatically adds a checkbox on each line when you tap Enter. On the Web version, in contrast, you have to add the checkbox manually at the beginning of each line; if you try to do it en masse, prepare for heartbreak.

Winner: It makes sense that OneNote, brought to you by the makers of Word software, provides the richest text formatting.

Business features

Evernote’s administrator options are user-friendly.

OneNote, on the other hand, supports management features through SharePoint or SkyDrive Pro. The IT admin can manage business data stored there, as well as control user access through Active Directory and Group Policy. You can share notebooks with the whole company, or with designated individuals or teams. Individuals can access their personal OneNote notebooks on SkyDrive, as well as the company notebooks for which they have permission on SharePoint or SkyDrive Pro.

Like OneNote, Evernote Business lets companies manage notes and data related to the business, while allowing individual users to create and maintain personal notes and notebooks outside the grasp of the IT admin.

Winner: Evernote is easier to manage than the SharePoint or SkyDrive Pro back end for OneNote.

Data management

Business editions of Office 365 let you share OneNote content with your team.

Be aware that Google can be fickle, as it has axed more than 70 features or services since it began “spring cleaning” in 2011 (RIP, Google Reader).

With either Evernote Business or OneNote used with SharePoint or SkyDrive Pro, business data belongs to the employer and stays under the control of the IT admin. If a user leaves a company, he or she no longer has access to the company notebooks and data, but retains access to their personal notes.

If an Office 365 subscription lapses, the locally installed OneNote software reverts to read-only mode. However, the data still exists through SkyDrive, and you can still use OneNote by way of its Web or mobile apps.

Winner: A tie. All three services provide roughly the same assurances of data ownership, but no means of exporting or archiving your data outside of proprietary formats.

The champion

Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, and Evernote each offer distinctive benefits. Unless you’re Google-focused or Microsoft-centric, however, Evernote is the most diverse and capable service.

Google Keep is nice and simple, but its capabilities are extremely limited.

Winner: Evernote provides users with a powerful note-taking platform for free, along with customization and expanded capabilities through apps and add-ons. Plus, Evernote’s version for businesses is straightforward and affordable.

Google Docs Tips & Tricks To Boost Work Efficiency

Google Docs Tips & Tricks To Boost Work Efficiency

So without further ado let’s learn some hidden tips of Google Docs that many of us are unaware of.

Google Docs Tips And Tricks: 1. Edit Google Docs Offline:

If till today you are thinking then working on Google docs is restricted to active Internet connection, then we would like to correct you here. If you are in a zone of weak or no internet connectivity and you want to create a new document or modify an existing one in Google Docs then go ahead. Yes, you hear it right. Google Docs gives you the power to edit the documents offline. And once you get back into the connectivity zone all your work will be saved and synced automatically.

1. Open Google Docs on Chrome browser.(Yes, you must be using Chrome browser to enable this setting. If you are on any other browser you will not find an option of offline Google Docs).

4. Once enabled you can now edit Google Docs both in Offline and Online modes.

You can check our complete article here on How To Use Google Docs File Offline

Optimize Your Google Docs Search Engine

Whether you are using Google Docs for writing a block or creating a web page, your first preference is to rank it on all leading search engines. Now this will become super easy once you add SEMrush add on to your Google Docs by following the steps below.

2. On the Add-ons window search for SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant.

4. If you are using various Google accounts then you need to confirm for which account you wish to install the add-on on Google Docs.

Want to get an insight of Google Docs Add-ons to increase productivity? Then check our article Best Google Docs Add-ons For 2023.

Set Up Google Docs Shortcuts

If you work on preparing the same type of content now and then this feature of Google Docs can really boost your productivity. You can set Google Docs shortcut for a long text or phrase or a commonly used word.

2. On the Preferences window select Substitutions and check mark Automatic substitution.

4. Now whenever you enter the shortcut in your document it will automatically be replaced by the phrase you have set.

Enable Smart Compose Suggestion

Another nifty feature of Smart Compose that has been added to Google Docs feature list after its success on Gmail. This feature, when enabled provides predictive writing suggestions as you type.

To enable the feature follow the steps given below:

2. From the drop down menu select Preferences.

4. Now when you start typing Google Docs will start providing the suggestions. To implement you just have to press the Tab button of your Keyboard. And in case you find it annoying you can anytime disable this settings by unchecking the Show Smart Compose suggestions option.

Enable Voice Typing on Google Docs

Bored of pressing keys on your keyboard, then start using voice typing on Google Docs to keep your hands free. Once you enable this feature you can create a new document or edit an existing one just through your voice.

To enable voice typing on Google docs follow the steps below:

2. From the drop down menu select Voice typing. You can also enable Voice typing by pressing Ctrl+Shift+S keys.

3. If it’s the first time you are trying Google Docs voice typing feature then you have to enable the Microphone of your device.

5. Once you enable the microphone its color will change from Black to Red. And this means that you are ready to use the voice typing feature of Google Docs.

6. Now as you start speaking, it will automatically get typed on the document.

7. Make sure you speak clear and loud, else this feature will start annoying you.

Please Note: You can change the font of the text, insert punctuation, and change the paragraph and much more just with your voice. To know more about this feature read our complete guide on How to Use Voice Typing on Google Docs

Search Anything Without Navigating from Google Docs

You are on a topic that requires an extensive and deep research. And for this, every time you need to navigate to Google from Google Docs for searching answers needed for the topic. We know how painstaking and time consuming it can be. But you would be glad to know that Google Docs has a feature that allows you to do all your research right from Google Docs without navigating to Google Search, resulting in saving your crucial time.

1. Open your document on Google Docs and highlight the word for which you like to gather the information.

3. This will open the Explorer sidebar on the right side of your Google Docs screen. And it will show you all the relevant and detailed search(including images) related to the word that you have highlighted in your document

4. You can also choose on any of the suggested links to get detailed information by visiting the chúng tôi you wish to insert that search link on your document then you can simply drag and drop it in your document.

Keep a Check on your Word Count While Typing

Whether you are preparing a college assignment or completing an article for your client it is always important to keep a check on the word limit. And you can do this quite easily with Google Docs Word Count feature.

This nifty feature helps you in keeping a check on the words while typing. Moreover this also tracks the number of pages, number of words, and number of words excluding spaces.

To enable word count on Google Docs follow the steps listed below:

1. Open the Google document you are working on.

2. Now, from the toolbar select Tools option.

3. From the drop down menu select Word Count Option. You can also enable Word count by pressing Ctrl+Shift+C keys simultaneously.

4. This will open a pop up window showing you the total number of words, characters and characters excluding spaces..

6. Do check our complete article on How to Check Word Count on Google Docs.

Wrapping Up

Google Docs has left its distinct mark in the market filled with numerous text editors. Its simplicity to use along with the automatic backing of data on the Google cloud has attracted many writers who were previously using Microsoft Word to prepare their content.

Recommended Readings:

Best Note Taking Apps For iPad

How to Add and Remove Header in Google Docs

Best Offline Reading Apps For Android

Quick Reaction:

About the author

Varun Tiwari

Latest Email Marketing Tends: Interview With Lauren Smith

I interviewed Lauren Smith from Litmus, the email analytics software provider about some of the latest changes in the email marketing industry and what marketers can do to make the most of them

Email is consistently ranked among the most effective forms of digital marketing. The DMA’s 2024 national email client report found that email has an average ROI of £38 for each £1 spent, which is spectacularly high. Given its effectiveness, email marketing is used by all kinds of businesses, from micro-businesses to the very biggest. To make the most of it you need to keep up to date with all the latest changes to platforms and tactics, which shift rapidly as ESPs launch new ways to view mail and mobile and desktop operating systems change the ways certain elements are displayed.

To help keep your email marketing efforts up to date, I interviewed Lauren Smith from Litmus, who are experts in all things email, to find out what the latest big changes were and what marketers can do to capitalize on them.

Q. Google launched Postmaster tools last year, can you let us know about some of the opportunities this new platform presents for marketers?

The launch of Postmaster Tools allows email marketers to analyze their email performance like never before. The tool gives marketers access to seven different dashboards, ranging from analysis of reported spam rates to domain reputation to delivery errors. These dashboards allow marketers to identify key trends over time and give insights into what impacts message deliverability, helping marketers ensure their emails reach inboxes instead of spam filters.

Q. Microsoft launched an Outlook app for iOS and Android. What formats (CSS, Divs, HTML etc) does that app support and what formats need to be avoided so they appear correctly in the Outlook app?

Compared to the usual rendering capabilities of Outlook clients, the Outlook app for iOS and Android is a major improvement. The Outlook app has great support from HTML and CSS, giving marketers the opportunity to experiment with CSS animation, animated gifs, media queries, and web fonts. Divs are also supported, which means table-based layouts can now be achieved in an Outlook client. By default, images on the Outlook app are automatically supported, however, HTML5 video is not supported. Instead, marketers can insert animated GIFs or images with play buttons in messages.

Q. Wearable’s were a big trend in 2024. How can marketers optimise emails for display on wearable such as the apple watch?

The launch of the Apple Watch was one of the most exciting email innovations in 2024. The increasing popularity of wearables should signal that email optimization on small screens is essential to avoiding frustration from subscribers. Traditional marketing standards that include HTML design, images, videos, and links will not display on the Apple Watch. Therefore, to get around the Watch’s limited capabilities and avoid warning messages, marketers should instead include simple and short calls to action in plain text.

Q. Windows 10 has a new default email client. Can you tell us about how this client works and the problems it presents for marketers?

Windows 10 comes with a new app, Outlook Mail, as its default email client. This email app is “universal,” meaning that it’s the same app across desktop, smartphones, and tablets. While the app is universal across all platforms, there are several pain points for marketers to be aware of. For example, images do not scale correctly, and there is no support for divs, CSS3, HTML5, or media queries.

Q.  The IPhone 6 introduced 3D touch features to its email client. How do you see these kinds of features involving in the coming years? Will they become the industry standard?

The introduction of the 3D touch feature Peek and Pop on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is a another step toward more interactive features in the inbox. “Peeking” an email allows subscribers to view a portion of the email without fully opening it. This type of functionality mirrors Gmail’s Quick Actions, which lets users take action on things like restaurant reservations and flight details without leaving the inbox. These features save users time when navigating their inboxes, and I predict that ISPs will continue to invest in these time-saving functionalities.  

Q. What changes to email clients do you think will benefit email marketers most this year? Name your top 3:

( 2 ) Yahoo! begins supporting media queries: With this update, Yahoo! Mail in the web interface and Yahoo! Mail’s mobile app both support a limited set of media queries, as well as min-width and max-width filters. This is big news to the email community and a major show of support from the team behind Yahoo! Mail. Styles that prevent media queries (commonly seen as a hack using attribute selectors) from activating in Yahoo! Mail are no longer necessary after these updates.

( 3 ) Outlook app for iOS and Android: Catering to those on-the-go, Outlook launched a mobile app for both Android and iOS phones and tablets. With great support for HTML and CSS, the groundwork has been laid for marketers to experiment with animated GIFs, CSS animation, web fonts, and media queries—upping the ante in email design possibilities for Outlook clients. Hopefully this is a sign that desktop apps will soon follow suit.

Q. 26% of all emails were opened over Webmail (Browser) rather than desktop clients for the first time ever in 2024. How might this impact email marketers?

Over time, desktop email has slowly been replaced by mobile and web apps. Businesses are shifting email away from expensive desktop suites and moving to scalable services like Outlook 365 and Google Apps. As a result, email designers will have to shift which email clients they’re focusing their optimization efforts on.

In addition, users of free web-based email service, like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, typically have IMAP access to their messages, making their email accessible from virtual any email client they choose. For example, Gmail users can easily switch between opening on an iPhone (in a Gmail-specific app, or in the mobile browser), in a web browser, or in a desktop application like Outlook. Email marketers need to keep a close look at their subscriber open data—and how it shifts—to ensure that their emails look great in the email clients that are most popular with their subscribers.

Q. What are the five most annoying changes to email marketing clients from 2024 in your opinion? Are there any ways email marketers can get around them?

( 1 ) Outlook 2024: In September 2024, Microsoft launched the latest version of their Outlook client—Outlook 2024. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much from its predecessors. Like Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013, Outlook 2024 renders emails using Microsoft Word, which has poor support for HTML and CSS and has a ton of frustrating quirks.

Due to its lack of support for many CSS properties, table-based layouts are a necessity for optimization in Outlook 2024. Another way to optimize emails for Outlook 2024 is to target Outlook with specific styles with conditional CSS. In addition, since images are blocked by default, it’s crucial to use lots of HTML text, which is always readable by subscribers, even if images are disabled.

( 2 ) Windows 10’s universal Outlook app: In 2024, Microsoft introduced yet another email app for email marketers and designers to be concerned about. The latest versions of Windows comes equipped with a universal new email app—Outlook Mail. This means that it’s the same app across desktop, smartphones, and tablets.

While this helps maintain consistency across platforms, it comes with many headaches for email designers since it uses Microsoft Word as its rendering engine, even on the Windows Phone. This means Microsoft has brought many of its desktop quirks (like those found in Outlook 2024) to the mobile space. For example, there is no support for media queries, and there are viewport issues on mobile, where content doesn’t scale to the device width.

( 3 ) iOS 9 rendering quirks: While iOS historically has some of the best HTML and CSS support around, iOS 9 introduced a few quirks. iOS 9 will automatically zoom emails to fit the device’s screen width. While this feature is great in theory, it can have some undesirable effects depending on how your email is built. Using modern, responsive techniques, rather than fix-width emails, will help solve this issue.

( 4 ) Gmail’s ‘block’ functionality: In 2024, Gmail launched a new ‘block’ functionality, giving users yet another way to rid their inboxes of messages they don’t want. When a subscriber “blocks” a sender it means they’ll never see an email from that sender again. While this option appears to be an attempt to give users a more accurate way to express their displeasure with a brand—one that doesn’t rely on the brand to honor an opt-out and doesn’t tarnish the brand’s sender reputation by reporting it as spam or phishing—it is another way for subscribers to never see your emails again.

To prevent getting blocked, email marketers should make their preference centers more visible. Often times, a subscriber would be happy to continue receiving emails if only they could receive messages less often or on different topics. Be proactive with your preference centers. Key moments in the subscriber lifecycle are the perfect time to get your subscribers to update their preferences.

( 5 ) Apple Watch: While the introduction of the Apple Watch was a huge innovation in bringing wearables to the email fleet, it also introduced some major implications for email marketers. Not only is there now another email client to optimize for, but it’s an email client that doesn’t render HTML.

The debut of the Apple Watch makes it absolutely clear that marketers must continue to not only send multi-part MIME messages containing a plain text alternative, but to optimize that plain text alternative for wearables like the Watch.

Q. Plenty of people have predicted the ‘death of email marketing’ over the years, yet email is more effective than ever. Why do you think email is such a powerful marketing platform?

Email is a permission-based marketing channel. In fact, 72% of people say they prefer companies to communicate with them via email over any other channel. Email allows for personalization, dynamic content, and even predictive analysis which can make for a fantastic subscriber experience. Marketers have the ability to fully understand individuals and send the best emails they can based on these capabilities.

Q. If you had your way, what one thing would you get all email marketers to stop doing?

Using someone’s name in an email is not using personalization. Personalization is so much more than including a first name, it’s understanding your subscribers’ behaviors and interests. What are their pain points? What type of content are they interested in receiving? How often do they want to receive communications? Using in-app data, surveys, and preference centers will allow you to tailor your communications and actually create personalized communications.

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